Thursday, July 15, 2010

Who will be the Badger’s Captains?

Jake Gardiner? Jordy Murry? Sean Dolan?

Badger fans who voted on the poll I posted last week think Jake Gardiner is the best candidate for Captain. I can’t say I disagree. He returns as the most experienced blue liner on the team having played in 80 games the last 2 seasons (Craig Johnson & Justin Schultz both have 43 games of experience). He is also the team’s best player (arguably) and will be a key component in the team’s success this season, as he gets a chance to flex some of his offensive ability that was hidden last season playing the hard minutes w/ Ryan McDonagh, and having Brendan Smith and Blake Geoffrion lighting the lamp often on the PP before he could even get out there w/ the second unit.

In the last week, another player has grown on me as a possible Captain: Sean Dolan. I’ve been a fan of Dolan since his freshman year, he is a hardworker who in his three seasons has done a lot of the little things on the 3rd and 4th line to help the team succeed. Along w/ Patrick Johnson, Dolan is the only other Badger player to have played in over 100 NCAA games coming into this season, at 102, Ratty has played in 112. Last season, the Badgers had 7 forwards very close to or well over 100 games played. Experience matters, and even if Sean doesn’t get the “C” I think an “A” would look good on his #16 jersey.

The other large vote getter in the poll was Jordy Murray. Another hard worker and goal scorer who after the above mentioned senior forwards, sits 3rd on the Badger forward list w/ 79 games played. The scouting report on Murray is that he is a kind of a goof ball, but its impossible to ignore his hard work and dedication on the ice. If Eaves is going to assemble a trio or so of players to lead this year’s squad, having someone lighten the moment(s) might be good for an inexperienced team. Of course there is the rumor that Murray might leave for a contract in Europe. I sure hope he doesn’t, he will get HUGE minutes this season in all situations, and will help a young team that could surprise some people by the end of the season.

If I were Eaves, I’d have to agree w/ the readers of our blog, and put some letters on these guy’s chests, and give them a chance to lead the Badgers next season. I also think Patrick Johnson and Craig Smith would be good choices too as an alternate captain. Johnson has played in more games than any returning Badger, and Craig Smith will need to step up this season and be a key part of the inexperienced forward group for the team to succeed. Smith was also the captain of the Waterloo Black Hawks before joining the Badgers last season.

I’d guess this decision would come one of these days, and I’m sure Eaves has people watching how the above mentioned players are interacting and leading during summer practices and workouts.